Many years ago in the jungles of South India lived a huge bull by the name of Yaksha. Yaksha was a bad tempered bull and troubled everyone around him. All the animals in the forests hated Yaksha , but they could do nothing for anyone who angered the bull had to weather his wrath. And there was no knowing what the bull would do. Charging at the opponent and goring it with his mighty horns , then tossing the poor creature high into the air , and catching it as it came down ; giving it a mighty kick and rolling the trembling animal on the ground with its hooves, was the bull’s mildest way of treating its foe. The other more gory methods are hardly mentionable here .
Even the lion, who considered himself to be of royal birth kept clear of Yaksha. The wily fox with its many tricks would not go anywhere near and the smaller animals all scurried away as soon as they saw the hefty creature.
This state of things was very convenient for Yaksha who did as he pleased . If he wanted to wade in the deep pond in the forests, the hippos would hastily lumber out of the water. Yaksha then had the whole pond to himself and took a long leisurely mid afternoon bath. He was such a bad tempered bull that while he bathed no animal would even dare to come for a drink of water at the lake.
All this while a little squirrel watched the bull from its tree top and was amazed that someone could be so uncouth and brash and most times downright brutal. He nibbled his nuts and wondered how he could banish the bull from the forest once and for all so that the animals could live in peace.
One fine day, the squirrel finally hit upon a plan to vanquish Yaksha . The squirrel thought hard and turned the plan over and over in his head just as he rolled the nuts with his paws before eating them. The plan began to take concrete shape and the squirrel’s tail shot upright in quivering excitement.
He waited one night on a tree near a clearing where he knew Yaksha came to graze in the evenings. He had informed the other jungle animals that he was going to take on the mighty Yaksha that night and the jungle population gathered around the edge of the clearing – each one using his camouflage to the best of his ability.
Presently the bull ambled in . It was a clear moonlit night and Yaksha looked invincible – like some demon god- as he began to graze, unaware that he was being watched by a hundred pairs of eyes.
The lion wondered how a tiny squirrel would take on the mighty bull , then smiled and settled down to wait – at least it would be an amusing match and eventually the poor squashed squirrel would make somebody’s dinner tonight.
The squirrel cautiously ran down the tree and moved stealthily into the long grass , closer to Yaksha . Yaksha twitched his ears and continued grazing , quite oblivious of his surroundings. The squirrel inched closer, careful not to rustle the grass. Swiftly in a trice he was on the bull, perched between his ears. Yaksha looked up startled, but the squirrel was so nimble he had hardly felt it. He bent his head down and continued to graze, and the squirrel stuck his bushy tail into Yaksha’s ear and gave it a twitch. Yaksha kicked his hooves and hrrrrmphed. Strange , he thought to himself. The squirrel suddenly slid beneath the bull’s belly and began tickling him on the underbelly. Yaksha bellowed in alarm. He felt funny. He wanted to laugh, but he didn’t know how to. He could only be angry, no one had taught him to laugh . The squirrel brushed its bushy tail along the folds of his neck, then swiftly climbed on his back between his horns and tickled the bulls nostrils. By now Yaksha was in a frenzy . He buckled and contorted his body into funny twists and jumped around but he could not make this funny sensation stop.
At last he pleaded to the gods above to help him. The animals heard his plainative cries and smirked. The lion thought he would do his little bit to help the squirrel. In a deep voice he said out loud, “ O unfeeling Yaksha! You have troubled the animals of the forest for too long. Do not expect any mercy now.”
Yaksha thought it was the voice of god. He cringed and cried out , “ O Omnipresent One , Please help me . I shall never again trouble your beasts”.
“ Begone then!,’ said the lion, “ and if you are ever seen in these parts you will face serious consequences.”
The terrified Yaksha bowed low and digging his hooves in the earth bounded away as fast as he could never to return again .